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Push Presents: The Great Debate

I see my gift as my husband being spontaneous, creative and thoughtful. Who can argue with that?

I think we can all agree that the term “push present” is half the problem. If we called it a “thank you for carrying our baby for 10 months, for going through childbirth, enduring the sleepless nights and hormonal rollercoaster present” then we could probably get our heads round the idea. For me, the art was in the giving of the present. My husband caught me blissfully unaware and had left the present at the end of our daughter’s cot with a note “To dear Mummy, from Nancy.” The note thanked me “for the milk, the burping – and the pushing”. (The fact that I then sobbed with hormonal guilt that my husband had spent a large amount of money on a Loquet London pendant and that it then had to be returned the next week was a whole other story). In the end, the second attempt he made was far more successful – and by then the hormones had settled.

We happened to be strolling past Jessica McCormack in Mayfair. I was in sweatpants with greasy hair, pushing our precious newborn along. I told him, “I can’t go in looking like this.” He said, “You bang on about Jess so much, let’s see what the fuss is all about.” We walked in. Ollie then proceeded to announce quietly, “Hi I’m Ollie, I’m here to collect a gift that Jess has been helping me with”. The sales assistant scuttled off. I was silenced. I cried. I squealed. I cried some more. The stones spell out her initials N-A-C-H and they are supported by a diamond on either side. It’s not flashy, but it gets so many admiring comments. I wear it every day. Mostly though, Nancy, now aged three, absolutely loves to try it on. “I like your ring Mummy.” I tell her it’s my Nancy ring.

I was very fortunate, I know that. There was no plan. It wasn’t intended to match my engagement ring, or sit comfortably with my wedding band. It was a reminder of our first-born child. But mainly, it was my husband being spontaneous, creative and thoughtful. Who can argue with that? Executive retail editor Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey

Push presents feel like just another marketing ploy, like baby showers, hen parties and Valentine’s Day

Even the name puts me on the back foot. I ended up having an emergency “sun roof” aka caesarean with my first baby and another one (elected) with my second. So technically, I didn’t push either of my babies out. However, I still went through labour with my first, have been pregnant for a combined total of 18 months, breastfed them both and did all the night feeds. So, do I deserve a present for delivering two small humans? In an ideal world, yes and it would come from Cartier. But let’s get everything into some prospective. I chose to have children and I knew what I was signing up for, so do I need rewarding for it? Women around the world give birth every minute of every day. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. Is this just another marketing ploy, like baby showers, hen parties and Valentine’s Day? Am I speaking with a tinge of jealousy? Absolutely. A small part of me did hope that my husband would surprise me and buy me a push present out of the blue, just because he was proud of me. But I have to remember, the real push present was welcoming our healthy children into the world. A cliché? Yes, but I’d prefer that above anything. Beauty and lifestyle editor Lauren Murdoch-Smith

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